Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Your help needed


 'A Canterbury Tale', by Michael Powell, is my all-time favourite film which I never tire of watching. It is also Martin Scorcese's favourite movie as well. So there.

I won't spoil it for you, but about half way through, the little boy in the centre of the picture above, goes into a hotel dressed in a large (for him) overcoat, despite the hot August weather. He is being used to smuggle a notebook from the local grocer's shop, which may contain valuable clues as to who is 'the glue man'.

When upstairs in the room, the boy is handed a glass of lemonade, and before he drinks it, he looks at it and says something that sounds like, "A foo-foo", and this comment is obviously not scripted, but from the heart.

No matter how many times H.I. and me have seen this film - and that is countless times - and no matter how hard we strain to listen to the boy - sometimes rewinding to hear the comment again - we have never been able to make out what the lad is saying, let alone meaning.

Now this is what I want you to do. Go out and buy the DVD of A Canterbury Tale (you won't regret it) and get back to me with your interpretation of what the boy says when handed the lemonade.

You will put us out of our misery if you can solve this problem, which has been niggling us for about 25 years now. I reckon that if the lad is still alive, he must be about 77 years old, so if you can put me in touch with him, that might work as well.

Off you go.


38 comments:

  1. 'Foo-Foo' is a popular Vodka and Lemonade mix. Much loved by small boys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know they had alco-pops in 1944.

      Delete
  2. Female genitalia surely? Will order the dvd......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's 'froo-froo' which, maybe, is what he was saying.

      Delete
  3. It's a bit pricey what with OB's birthday coming up....might have to try and find it on You Tube....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On Carlton's Classic range, it should be about £6, but I have seen it in The Scotch Wool Shop (of all places, for less. Anyway, don't plead poverty with me.

      Delete
  4. Oh drat! It's on Netflix, but only if you have the subscription w/actual DVDs being mailed to you (not streaming, like we have). I'll see if our local library has it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just break the damn bank and splash out £6, for God's sake. - it's a week's subscription to bloody Netflix.

      Delete
  5. I thought a foo foo was a nickname for a Tuppence?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting. I'll look that one up. A lemonade must have been about tuppence in those days. Good lead, thank you.

      Delete
    2. Ah. I have obvious led a more sheltered life than I thought, despite having a dictionary of Georgian slang.

      Delete
    3. Or Ha'penny, as in "keep your hand on your ha'penny"!

      Delete
    4. Ah - so a ha'penny is a lady's hmm-hmm too?

      Delete
  6. Really? With all the work I have to do today on my farm you want me to help you define a "foo-foo" ? OK fine. It beats castrating another litter of piglets but only just barely

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your supposed to relax by watching DVDs after you have finished work, not when you are chopping the nuts off animals. Give yourself some down-time, otherwise you might find yourself sleep-walking at night with a kitchen knife trying to remove the gonads of the rest of your male family, Donna.

      Delete
  7. Results of a Google search (you weren't wrong, Em - now you must DEFINITELY buy the flick):

    Foo Foo:

    vagina cunt fancy foo foof foo foo fufu pussy snatch starbucks vulva bucket compact gina gine package phewphew red snapper stibbs vagart

    Adjective used to describe anything that is just a little to frilly, fancy, or "upper crust". Things that are foofoo might also be a bit on the delicate side, or too elegant by half, or even offensively fruity. Spoiled little lap-dogs, $1000 designer handbags, and pink capri pants worn by men all qualify as foofoo. Volleyball, a lightweight game - not a "sport" - played by athletic girls and openly gay men, does not qualify as foofoo.
    "I just saw Mrs. Vanderbilt buying a Gucci sweater for her poodle. The whole scene was so foofoo."

    When you look or feel frilly, Prissy, made up, High maintenance, overdone etc..

    Others can look foo foo to you also.
    This pink outfit makes me feel so foo foo!
    Getting your nails done is so foo foo.

    Froo Froo:

    Small black vagina.
    You have such a Froo Froo

    An act commited by one person to disappoint another.
    Guy 1: They wouldn't let me buy liquor.
    Guy 2: Don't you turn 21 tomorrow?
    Guy 1: Yeah but they just wouldn't cut me some slack.
    Guy 2: Man, that's froo-froo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be so like Michael Powell to get a small kid to say this on film...

      Delete
    2. ... but I don't believe he did.

      Delete
  8. Why can't he just be saying a foo foo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the only thing I can be sure of. I think he was too young to say any of the above, and I don't think he was told to say it either. Just watch the film and tell me what you think, Weave.

      Delete
  9. Maybe he's saying Thank You with his mouth full....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. I don't want any opinions on my description. You need to hear and see it yourself.

      Delete
    2. That sounded a bit harsh - it wasn't meant to. What I meant was you have to see and hear it, but - nevertheless - it is a good possible explanation, but he doesn't seem to be that grateful, and he hadn't yet taken a mouthful f lemonade.

      Delete
  10. I found it!! I found it!! I found it!! Hard to believe, but I googled 'little boy canterbury tales foo foo' and I did find the answer which is about a Bunny named Fewfew. You can look at it yourself under www.spscriptorium.com/Season4/E409secrets.htm - The Secrets of "Something You Can Do With Your Finger"

    I am not making this up, this is the actual link. If you find the article and scroll down to "The History", you will see that it refers to "The Knight's Tale".

    Now, Tom, if I don't get major bonus points for having solved a 25 year old mystery, then I might just have to call John my BFF. Hehe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heavens! If that isn't what they boy is talking about, then it's an amazing coincidence! If you watch the film, it really is as though the boy just makes it up on the spot - he even talks over the scripted dialogue.

      I love your discovery, Iris, and for now I am going to treat it as the best explanation possible. I can't imagine any better ones cropping up, but the case is still open until everyone who wants to has seen the film.

      Delete
    2. Then again, it is titled 'The Secrets of Something You Can Do With Your Finger'...

      Delete
  11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qa9jn-aCz4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well yes, but I really think he says, 'foo-foo' without an 'r' - having listened to it about 600 times.

      Delete
  12. Have never seen it, but it sounds good. Will look it up. Hmmmmm...........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If nothing else, it is a good excuse to see one of the maddest, eccentric, British war-time films - which includes a real-life American soldier playing an American soldier.

      Delete
  13. I have just remembered that I have a contact to Michael Powell's son, Columba, through a mutual family friend. I suppose I could ask Columba, but I don't think he would have been born at that time. Columba was the character who helped his father ruin his own career by starring in his ill-fated and slagged-off, creepy film 'Peeping Tom'.

    The opening sequence of this film involved a man (unseen) with a bayonet fixed to a camera, moving closer toward his first, terrified victim, who we do see, trembling and whimpering with fear. The boy is played by Columba Powell.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think foo foo was slang for a fizzy drink like lemonade ( or cocktails like gin fizz). So the boy might just be happily recognising what he's been offered ( in sugar deprived wartime Britain) which could have been an unexpected treat in the circumstances. So maybe just came out with an unscripted appreciative exclamation. But I haven't seen the film - just going on your description.

    Btw like Razmataz, I also thought he might be politely muttering a childish 'fank oo'. ( Pls don't shout at me.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course I won't shout - I only come across like that through over-entheusiasm. Now, (in a whisper) is this slang name a fizzy drink something you have heard of, or have you just made it up out of thin air? WELL?!

      Delete
  15. hahaa, our bank is already broken!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never say that. You may have a complete brain-wave - or you may just fall asleep.

      Delete